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Vintage car centre triumphant in RICS awards

British Motor Museum

Winning the Tourism and Leisure Category (West Midlands) of the RICS 2016 Awards, The British Motor Museum took the honours for its new Collections Centre building.

The £4m two storey Collections Centre, which opened this February, includes a large open space to showcase 250 vehicles from the Museum’s reserve collection.

Constructed on the Museum’s site at Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire, the centre was the final element of a multi-million revamp to enhance facilities throughout for the British Motor Museum.

The project was entered in the awards by main contractors Galliford Try and beat off strong competition from the Golden Square scheme in Birmingham and Wednesbury Leisure Centre.

The project to construct the Collections Centre was supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Jaguar Land Rover, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.

Stephen Laing, curator at the British Motor Museum, who collected the award, said: “The Collections Centre is part of the broader strategy to develop the visitor offer and sustainability of the Trust and the Museum. It is a key part in raising our visitor numbers.

“There are very few places that the public can look ‘behind the scenes’ at the collections of a major museum, and this project has enabled us to offer this. The building itself is an iconic structure and now combined with the award, is a great opportunity to raise our profile nationally and even internationally.”

David Bowdley, from Galliford Try said: “Being named the RICS 2016 West Midlands Regional Award Winner in the Leisure and Tourism category is fantastic recognition for the team that have been involved in this iconic project. The collaborative approach, embraced by the British Motor Museum, Weedon Architects, Mace, Clancy Consulting and Galliford Try, ensured that the project successfully achieved its main aim to develop an accessible and sustainable home for the Museum’s reserve car collection.”

Weedon Architects design sits well in the parkland setting, supporting the master plan for the site developed by the Museum and Weedons some years ago.

The new 4,900 sq m building has been constructed partly over one of the existing ponds on site and adjacent to an existing bund between the British Motor Museum and Jaguar Land Rover, Gaydon. The pond was re-profiled under the contract with a new gabion wall installed along two of the pond edges, providing an attractive engineered feature for the building.

British Motor Museum

The building itself is a steel framed structure constructed on piled foundations, and predominately covered in a Kalzip standing seam cladding system. At each end of the building, and to part of the front elevation, there are large expanses of curtain walling, enhanced to prevent any UV transfer. This glazing system was selected to protect the cars from damage over time as a consequence of any UV rays.

The focal point of the front elevation is a tower, clad in zinc and topped with a sedum (‘green’) roof, which, with its fully glazed design, clearly signifies the entrance to the building for users and the public.

The building is also extremely environmentally friendly and services within the building have been designed to be energy efficient. Habitable/staff areas are fully serviced to provide a comfortable working area, whereas the storage areas are covered by frost protection only which ensures that the cars are subject to a slow rate of temperature change protecting them from damage. An array of photovoltaics has also been installed on the roof to provide a source of renewable energy.

Jeff Coope, General Manager of the British Motor Museum said: “Around 40% of the cars we have were not on display to the public and these are now available for viewing in our Collections Centre. In addition, The Jaguar Heritage Trust came in as partners with us on the project and helped fund the Collections Centre, so that they could store their collection of beautiful racing and historic Jaguars there.

“The two collections are located on separate floors of the Centre, which also contains a 700 sq m vehicle storage workshop, six vehicle ramps, car repair bays, a valet bay, store rooms and machine shops. The building also incorporates a vehicle lift to transport cars from ground to first floor. In addition there is an office to accommodate 26 people including the Museum’s curators and educational staff. A glass balustrade viewing point on the first floor allows visitors to watch the mechanics working on the cars.

“It is certainly an impressive building – evidenced by the RICS award. It has been referred to as an iconic building and has a very ‘automotive’ feel, reflecting the fact that ‘the cars are the stars’. The cladding has the effect of being ‘draped’ over the building, with the curtain walling giving the effect of an outdoor display which is illuminated at night.”

Nottingham-based fenestration specialist, Peak Aluminium Systems Ltd installed the glazed facades using the Technal MX thermally broken curtain walling system and double glazing to reduce UV transmittance.

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